Nikon 50mm 1.8 G Night Photography

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Ah, the 50mm f/ane.8 prime number lens.  It’south one of the most popular lenses in the world, just if you shoot Nikon, you lot have ii choices of models, and information technology tin exist confusing to know which one to choose.

This is one of the questions I go all the time from people who employ our extremely popular DSLR lens finder to choose a lens.

In this article, I’ll highlight the differences between the cameras and help you make the right choice.


Nikon AF-Due south FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Lens with Auto Focus for Nikon DSLR Cameras


Nikon AF FX NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D Lens for Nikon DSLR Cameras

What is the Nikon 50mm f/i.8D?

The Nikon 50mm f/i.8D lens is the older of the two lenses.  The basic blueprint of the lens was created in the 1970s, only this version was released in 2002.

The focus motor on the f/1.8D lens is surprisingly noisy.
That makes this lens a particularly poor choice for shooting weddings where you’ll exist in a quiet ceremony, or for other situations where you’ll need to exist stealthy.

However, as Pop Photo reports, the focusspeed
of the lens is actually a minute fraction of a secondfaster
than the f/1.8G.

Even so, the silent wave motor of the 50mm f/1.8G is generally regarded equally being slightly more than authentic.

Another drawback is that it comes with a
really inexpensive and poorly designed white rear lens cap
which does not stay on well and is not durable.

It’s null like the standard rear lens caps for Nikon lenses.

Perhaps the 50mm f/1.8D lens’s biggest drawback is that it is not compatible with all Nikon cameras.

Most modern lenses, the 50mm f/1.8G take a small motor in the lens which allows information technology to focus.  The 50mm f/i.8D, however, has no motor.

On older Nikon lenses, the camera had the motor and would ability the lens with a small white Ten-shaped prod that would extend out from the photographic camera.

So if your camera does not have a focus motor, you will not be able to autofocus with this lens.

Cameras that will Not autofocus with this lens (if your camera is not on this list, it will autofocus fine)

  • Nikon D3300 and previous models (Nikon D3200, D3100, D3000, etc)
  • Nikon D5500 and previous models (Nikon D5300, D5100, D5000, etc)
  • Nikon D80, D70, D60, D40 (though the D90 does have a motor)

Nevertheless, there are a few select benefits to the f/ane.8D over the f/i.8G.  First of all, toll.

The f/1.8D is mostly about $100 cheaper than the grand version, but you tin check the price of the f/1.8D version and the f/ane.8G version by tapping the buttons below to run into what the current cost difference is.

I would also check the cost divergence on a really high quality used one from KEH camera.

Some other benefit of the f/1.8D is that it tin can stop down to f/22 while the f/1.8g can but become to f/18.

However, that’due south an extremely limited benefit.  I don’t know that I have ever encountered a situation where I’d want to shoot at a very high aperture on a 50mm lens before.

One thing that I love almost the older lens mode is that it includes an discontinuity band.

This is a physical ring you can twist to change the aperture, rather than doing the aforementioned from the camera (which yous can also practise).

About camera manufacturers moved abroad from this mode in the mid-1990s, but I’ve e’er plant the aperture right to exist extremely convenient.

The 50mm f/1.8D lens has some optical advantages over the f/1.8G.  It distorts slightly less and has a little less vignetting effectually the edges.

Both of these are very minor changes, however.

What is the Nikon 50mm f/one.8G?

The 50mm f/i.8G lens is the newer version of the aging 50mm f/1.8D.

It’due south more expensive, has some slight updates to the optical quality which volition attract more picky buyers, and includes features typical of college-end lenses such equally a silent-moving ridge motor, rounded discontinuity blades, and decent build quality.

The 50mm f/1.8G version feels like a completely dissimilar lens.
Even without shooting the lens and seeing the optical quality, you can experience right away that the “g” version is much more substantial and well-built.

The Nikon 50mm f/1.8G lens is sharper than the 50mm f/one.8D, merely I’m hesitant to write that judgement at all.

When I write lens reviews, readers ofttimes intendance merely about sharpness and neglect to recognize that sharpness is only one of a whole host of features that impact the quality of a lens.

You should know that the 50mm f/i.8D and G lenses are extremely close cousins in terms of optical quality, and you’d merely really notice the sharpness improvement in the 50mm f/i.8G lens if you see it side-by-side with the 50mm f/1.8D.

The difference is

Another benefit of the f/1.8g is that the aperture blades are more rounded than those of the f/i.8D lens.

This generally produces more smooth and attractive bokeh in photos.

However, both lenses take the exact same number of aperture blades (7) so there really is a limited difference between the two.

What is the same in both lenses?

Both lenses have the aforementioned close focus distance of .45 meters.  This is a disappointment for me.

I was hoping to see the close focus altitude shrink on the new 50mm f/1.8G lens.

Since a 50mm is a full general, walk around lens, having macro capabilities would take been a nice bear on on this popular lens and would take helped to justify the significantly college price tag.

Both lenses also have a similar build mode with no lens hood, but a front chemical element which is deeply recessed inside the lens.

This makes the front chemical element well protected from the elements.

One of the reasons I highly recommend the 50mm f/1.8 lenses is because both models piece of work on crop sensor or total-frame cameras.

That’s a nice do good for photographers who only had a upkeep for a crop sensor camera when starting out in photography, but who want to buy lenses that will be uniform with a full frame camera when they are eventually set up to upgrade.

Which lens should you buy?

There are very few drawbacks to the 50mm f/1.8G in terms of simply “which lens performs amend?”

The 50mm f/1.8G is very slightly ameliorate than the 50mm f/1.8D
in that regard.

All the same, the price deviation overcomes a lot of that difference considering the slight optical quality improvements may not warrant the increased price tag for many photographers.

When it comes correct down to it, this is what I’d recommend for photographers in unlike situations.

Get the 50mm f/one.8G lens if….

  • Yous shoot a photographic camera that does not have a focus motor.
  • You’re willing to pay a bit more to get the height of the line.
  • You value build quality.

Get the 50mm f/one.8D lens if…

  • You’re ownership your commencement kit of photography gear and need to save the money for the camera or other accessories.
  • Yous don’t have the budget for the 50mm f/1.8G.
  • You recognize that the optical differences between these two lenses are miniscule and are unlikely to differentiate your photos from the competition

If you’re looking into getting a new lens for your camera, try out the DSLR lens finder.

I spent over a twelvemonth building information technology.

It asks you five or half-dozen questions nearly your budget, what photographic camera you shoot, and what you want to shoot with your new lens, and it recommends exactly the right lens for your situation.

 Check out the lens finder here to find the best lens for your DSLR.

If yous want lens recommendations from other photographers, nosotros would Love to have you in the Amend Your Photography Facebook Group!

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